Here is a collection of “Dice Advice” for your edification and amusement. Do with it what you will. No guarantees. Some of these ideas seemed to seem sensible to me for a while. But then some other completely contradictory instruction occurs and it too is practical, in its superstitious way. The whole lot is rather confusing. Read on and you’ll see what I mean.
What to wear:
Never thought about the best what to wear while gaming? Well don’t worry, you don’t have to get dressed up to have good luck. In fact, according to the traditional stories surrounding the overall game of Craps, “Dirt brings luck. Wear dirty clothes and you will be lucky.” (Hey, that explains that odd odour wafting out of my local game store last week. There must have been a lot of REALLY lucky gamers in there!)
Where to sit:
Well, sitting on a handkerchief while gaming is supposed to be lucky. (Best not to combine that one with the “Dirt brings luck” concept… ewww.)
Sitting astride your chair is lucky too. (Tipping your chair back is not lucky however, especially when we were teenagers and anyone’s mother caught us doing it. Ouch.)
“Never leave a d20 sitting with the #1 facing up. It will get used to sitting that way, and roll 1’s more often.” The “scientific” excuse because of this belief says that there is a “molecular drift” or “dice creep” because of gravity, evoking the die to become bottom heavy. This would make more sense if dice were semi-liquid, but last time I checked all my dice were solid. Check yours now, just to be sure.
However, “If you leave a d20 sitting with the 20 facing up, it’ll get tired of being this way, and seldom roll any 20’s.” Hmmm. Besides, how can I tell which way all those dice jumbled up in my own dicebag are sitting all week between games? Oh, such anxiety! I think I need a transparent dicebag!
Where you can throw the dice:
Well, on the table is good… however, not just any table. semi precious stone dice polished tables are bad luck… something regarding mirrors reversing things, giving you the opposite of what you need I guess.
But getting the dice roll off the table onto the ground is misfortune too. When playing Craps another roll after that will be a 7 (minimal desirable number). Plus you may lose the die, a) in the cat’s dish, b) down the heating vent, c) between the assortment of cheesies, chip crumbs and dust-bunnies under the gaming table. Any misfortune linked to the dice falling off the table could be remedied insurance firms the “Dealer”, or the inside our case the GM, grab the errant die and give it back to you. Of course, some GM’s don’t like ahead from behind the screen for anything… if you keep asking them to chase down your dice you merely will dsicover you luck gets a whole lot worse all of a sudden “Why do all of the monsters seem to be seeking me tonight?! Oh, can you pick up my d6, again?”
What (not) to say:
Never say “You will need anything but a 1”, because that jinxes the roll. This goes along with the idea that while playing Craps no-one is to mention the number 7. By mentioning undesirable numbers, you are summoning them. So, logically (if I may use that word in this context) calling out “Come on 20!” would be summoning a 20. Someone told me he always says “Hit! You bloody bastard!” while rolling to hit. (Apparently swigging beer before exclaiming this, is part of the charm.)
The Hackmaster Player’s Handbook has a great section in the back of the book on dice rituals etc. In it they outline a method of blessing a die by rubbing it on the signature of a famous gamer… filled with diagrams! Be sure to check it out.
Rubbing your dice on someone’s head is really a way of blessing the dice. Apparently red-headed people are not good luck though. (I don’t understand this at all. Some of my best friends are redheads!)
Cleansing dice of misfortune is another method of blessing your dice. This is often done by burying them in salt, or washing them in cold water or mineral water. (Holy water my work extra well, but maybe not for evil characters.) Just avoid alcohol to remove misfortune from your dice… it may take away the ink from the numbers too! Of course, cleansing dice when they have been performing well, would be counterproductive. You’ll only be washing away the good luck (and all that “lucky dirt”!).
A “friend of a pal” used to place his dice in his mouth and spit them onto the table, once and for all luck. No-one ever borrowed his dice. Another person, used to keep her dice down her bra. “Boobs bring luck!” she maintains.
“Bad dice! Go sit down in a corner and consider what you’ve done.” Uncooperative dice could be coaxed, cleansed, blessed or… punished for his or her bad deeds. Some folks will leave the offending dice in the home when they venture out to play: “House Arrest”. Some gamers provides the dice to the overall game, but not let them out from the dice bag. The bad dice need to sit there listening to their other dice friends having fun and rolling merrily, while they sit in the dark. Other bad dice escape the bag, but have to sit on the sidelines watching the other dice frolicking around. (That’s really too cruel, I think. It reminds me of senior high school gym class, when I frequently waited for the turn that never came. Sniffle. Sob. I’m going to be okay in a minute.)
The worst things I’ve ever heard of individuals doing to poor unsuspecting dice are, a) putting them in the toilet (not flushing though), b) ejecting them in to the atmosphere with a slingshot, and c) going for a blow torch in their mind. (This latter, as a dice lover, I regard as outright murder. “Someone call the cops, an innocent die is dying!” The dice, in cases like this, actually were innocent, rather than “bad dice” at all. They were sacrificed to the gods of luck so as to bring fortune to a newly created character.)
I’m not discussing Chi Squared tests here. That’s for another article.
I’m talking about testing the loyalty, balance and general luckiness of dice through such highly rigorous methods as “dice stacking”. Throughout a lull in the game, stack up your dice on top of one another. If any fall off the stack they’re obviously not very loyal to you, making you look foolish like that… so don’t use them any more that night.
If any fall off the stack and land on really good numbers, well, that’s different. Maybe they go out of their way to prove how lucky they are, and you should give them another chance. Kindness counts, I figure. (I’m not the murderous type, as you know.) Call me soft, if you like, but I like my dice, and when I’m nice to them maybe theyll give me that natural 20 when I must say i need it!!